Problem gambling occurs when a person loses control over their gambling, particularly the frequency of gambling, the amount of money gambled and the amount of time devoted to gambling.
Indicators of problem gambling may include:
- You look at gambling as a way of making money instead of fun and entertainment
- You gamble more than you can afford to lose
- You “chase your losses” and engage in excessive gambling
- You lose track of the time you spend and the amount you invest on gambling
- You stay away from work, university or social situations to gamble
- You engage in gambling to escape boredom or unhappy times
- You experience a sense of loss or despair when you lose money gambling
- You gamble down to your last dollar and put other financial responsibilities aside
- You lie to others to hide your true gambling habits
- Gambling makes you depressed
- Your home life is suffering because of your gambling
If you feel like you are losing control or may have a gambling problem, you can get 24 hour responsible gambling support at Gambling Help Online or by calling the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858.
You may also wish to seek the assistance of a financial counsellor. Financial counsellors provide free and independent advice and support to people experiencing financial difficulty. Call the Financial Counselling Helpline on 1800 007 007 for telephone assistance, and you can also ask for a referral to a specialist gambling financial counsellor for a face-to-face appointment.
“The universe is so well balanced that the mere fact that you have a problem also serves as a sign that there is a solution.”
Steve Maraboli: Life, the Truth, and Being Free
There is no shame in asking for help. Trying to deal with problem gambling alone can be overwhelming so take advantage of the support on offer and regain control.